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Vocabulary Games

I’ve received some requests to share some more game ideas for Latin classes.  I have a number of games that my students and I really enjoy playing.  Here are a few that will help build vocabulary:

1. Latin Hangman – Ultra simple. No preparation needed.  Play the same way as regular hangman, but use your chapter vocabulary instead.  In order to win the student must not only guess the Latin word, but also be able to tell you what it represents.

2. Spelling Bee – Simple.  No preparation needed.  This is a great game to improve their listening skills.   All students should begin the game standing.  The teacher should say a Latin word twice (go slow in the beginning) and the student should spell the word and provide the meaning.  I ask my students to distinguish long vowels from short by saying “long a” if there is an ‘a’ with a macron (long mark).  If the student spells the word incorrectly or provides the wrong meaning they must sit down.  The last discipulus standing wins.  If you like to give oral quizzes using dictation, this is a great way to review.

3. Around the World – Simple. No preparation needed.  This is a variation on the spelling bee.  Instead of all the students standing in one spot they orbit the classroom.  Player one begins with a spelling word.  If player one answers correctly (see spelling bee rules) he advances to player two.  Player one is given another spelling word.  If he answers correctly he moves on to player three.  If he errs, then player two is given the same word (the word player one just missed).  If player two answers correctly then player one sits down and player two advances to player three.  The first player to go “around the world (or classroom)” wins.

4. Pictionary – Simple. No preparation needed.  This game is wonderful because it takes their vocabulary comprehension to a new level.  Instead of connecting Latin words to English words, the students connect Latin words to the images or objects they represent.  This game can be played the same as the English version.  A student goes to the whiteboard and draws a picture.  The picture must represent Latin vocabulary the class has learned.  The first person to correctly guess in Latin the word that matches the picture wins!

5. VINCO – Simple. Some preparation required.  This is the Latin version of BINGO.  You can either ask students to create their own VINCO card or you can prepare one in advance.  It should be a grid of 5 squares x 5 squares.  Students should fill in these 25 spaces with Latin words they have learned.  You may wish to limit the amount of words to a particular chapter or unit that you are studying.  You may choose to designate the center space as LIBER (free).  You call out the English word and if they have the Latin equivalent on their card they cross it out.  The first one to cross out 5 spaces in a row (horizontal or diagonal) wins.  You can then play “decem” which means they have to mark out a big X (Roman numeral 10) on their card.  You can also play for black out – marking off all squares.  Another variation would be for the teacher to hold up a picture or image for each Latin word instead of calling out the English name.  For instance, hold up (or draw) a picture of a girl.  The students would then cross out the word puella.  Once again this is of great benefit in that it helps students equate Latin words with the things or actions they represent.

For online games that practice vocabulary in Latin Alive please check out the link provided in the blogroll.

Stay tuned for future game blogs.  Coming up next: Latin Taboo.

One Response to “Vocabulary Games”

  • Thanks for posting these. I am going to try to use some of these with my Latin for Children classes. I have already tried the “Around the World” and “Latin Pictionary” with them.


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